I'd visited the prison back in May, as soon as I was asked to be part of the project. I knew a place like that would have a grim effect on me, so I wanted to make sure it was a familiar grim effect. Although the addition of some very provocative art installations added another layer of challenge.
So much of the prison already resembles ladders that lead nowhere, even without the addition of new ones. The only clear view, through non-obscured glass, is of the sky ... Oscar Wilde's 'little tent of blue'.
In addition to our own poems, works by Homero Aridjis, Dennis Brutus, Imtiaz Dharker, Osip Mandelstam, Harryette Mullen, Irina Ratushinskaya, Marina Tsvetaeva and Oscar Wilde were read.
The delivery of the poems was excellent throughout; the audience intrepid in the face of distinctly chilly conditions.
The poets with organiser Rosie Jackson.
Afterwards we went up to the third floor where some of the poems were on display. They'd been printed on thin paper so that the light shone through them, and looked as frail and beautiful as hope.
Here's Rosie with her poem ...
... and here's mine.
It might be presumptuous, but I would like to think that a small restitution had been made.